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Sunday, 17 September 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors, Aerolatte Milk Frother, Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Percolator

Time for another Weekly Roundup!  You've heard me bang on about The Ordinary's Natural Moisturizing Factors.  I love the no nonsense moisturizing capabilities of it and I love its price even more.  However, I don't love the fact that I have to buy a new tube every few weeks.  At 1 fluid ounce, it just doesn't last for very long and it was constantly selling out at my local store so other customers were probably going through their tubes just as quickly.  At my last visit, it was a welcome surprise to see that a new larger 3.3 fluid ounce tube was being introduced.

It is only a couple of dollars more than the original smaller sized tube so it is still a great deal.  
This week I picked up a battery operated milk frother for Monsieur.

via Amazon

The Aerolatte Mooo comes in a cute black and white cowhide pattern although if the cuteness factor is too much for you it also comes in chrome, and black,  I got the travel version but it is also available with a stand in black here, and in blue here.  Now Monsieur can whip up some crema for his morning coffee.  Speaking of his morning coffee ritual, Monsieur uses the Bialetti 9 Cup Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker.

via Amazon
It is also available in a 6 cup size, a flashy 6 cup red, and a very Italian 6 cup tricolour.  The great thing about this brand is that you can get replacement parts for it like the handle, filter and gaskets and even the funnel.  When so many things these days are disposable and unrepairable, it is nice knowing that this simple appliance can be repaired.

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: H & M Mini Haul, Breville Espresso Knock Box

Time for another Weekly Roundup!  In an effort to use up my H & M coupon which was expiring, I steeled myself for the miles of inventory and loud music and went back to H & M.  There is no doubt that it is a little tricky looking for basic clothing that is immune to trends in that emporium of fast fashion so I fell back on a staple piece in my capsule clothing wardrobe which is the cardigan.

I picked up a cotton cardigan in navy instead of black which is what I meant to get as I wasn't quite ready for the starkness of such a winter colour.  Also, I noticed that sizing varies wildly between colours.  A large navy can fit like a medium yellow and a medium navy can fit like a large black.  Sometimes the sizing can vary within colours and shipments as well.  So it is worth your time to try a few of the same size and size up or down as well before giving up.
I picked up a pair of H & M tweezers for Monsieur as he is always "borrowing" my trusty Tweezerman tweezers.  Funnily enough, he likes the H & M ones better because they are slightly wider so more suitable for his man hands.  I hunted around for more grooming tools but there wasn't much else.  I was really surprised to see the tweezers and, if there had been other tools on offer, I would have definitely been interested in purchasing them.
As well, I pick up a nail polish in "Ice Cold Milk" which I thought be good for French manicures or an allover clean look.  It was a bargain $2.00!  For that price, I might go back and pick up a couple more.  Last but not least, I picked up a concealer in Soft Sand.  It was $3.00.  I wanted to do a bargain price comparison between H & M and e.l.f's concealer in Fair.

They both have a similar feel and texture and dry down to a dewy finish.  I like H & M's doefoot applicator a lot better as it is bigger, softer and plushier.  H & M has a wider range of colours so it is easier to find one that is a good match for your skin tone whereas e.l.f only comes in a maximum of 3 shades.  They both last well without creasing.  Overall, I would choose H & M's concealer over e.l.f.
The final entry for this week's Roundup is the Breville Espresso Knock Box.

via Amazon

For years, Moniseur, who is a fierce coffee fiend, would knock out the coffee puck against the side of the kitchen sink.  To my horror, there are now innumerable chips to the very expensive granite counter as a result (sob, sob).  And then I discovered the Knock Box!  It is a stainless steel bucket with a bar across the top for tapping or knocking out the coffee grinds.  Ha!  I didn't even know that knock boxes were a "thing"! If you spend any time in a coffee shop and wonder what is that "knock, knock" noise that the baristas keep making, they are tapping out coffee grinds into a knock box.
And that is it for this week!

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Monday, 28 August 2017

LBH August Monthly Favourites: Aroma Aria Hand Soap, Kate Spade Tote

Time for August Monthly Favourites!  For what seems like forever, I have been lusting after the vintage apothecary vibe in the bathroom exemplified by dark glass jars and bottles.  I even went so far as to consider ordering dark glass pump dispensers online and contemplating Aesop's Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash.  Imagine my delight when I spied two bottles of hand soap at my local Winners in the requisite dark brown glass.

One was a lavender scent and the other, mango agave.  The lavender is incredibly heady and the mango, sweetly fruity.  I love the fact that they come in refillable glass bottles.  The price was a very easy on the wallet $6.99 for 473 ml.  Winners is like the Canadian version of Marshalls.  You never know what you'll find on the shelves.  I have never heard of Aroma Aria before and have never seen it anywhere else so I have no idea if I'll find it again at Winners.  They are made in the U.S. so, if you are in the States, perhaps you will have an easier time locating it.
Next up is my Kate Spade tote.  I received it as a gift a couple of years ago (you can find similar versions here and here) but have used it a mere handful of times since.

Then it struck me that Summer was waning and I really should bring it out from the depths of my closet and just enjoy it.  The thing about having a capsule wardrobe is that it teaches me to appreciate what I have. What is the point of having lovely things if they aren't being used and appreciated?  The tote is a cream colour so, theoretically, I could use it past Labour Day but I think that light coloured accessories just come into their own during the strong light of the Summer months.  
And that is it for August!  Short and sweet as my car began coughing and sputtering in the most doleful manner and, faced with an unexpectedly large hit to my wallet, I had to curtail any errant shopping impulses.  
Let me know how your Summer is going!

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Too Faced Love Flush, Riviera Yogourt

I finally, finally bought another Too Faced Love Flush blush in the shade "I Will Always Love You."

I hadn't just hit pan, I had hit the whole pan. There wasn't anything left except a few crumbs.  I have to confess that there is an innate satisfaction in completely using something up and knowing that I have wrung every drop out of it before replacing it.  It was the last one at my local Sephora so I figured it was meant to be and definitely time for a replacement.  If you aren't near a Sephora, you can also get it here.

I have a minimal makeup collection.  I have tried to expand it but, for some reason, I start to feel very guilty and begin to suffer from decision fatigue.  I have a makeup routine that is the equivalent of putting on a daily uniform.  This makes getting ready fast and efficient.  Do you have a minimal makeup collection?  Does having a makeup routine help make your life easier?
Jumping away from makeup, Monsieur came home with the cutest little yoghurt (or yogourt) pots I had ever seen.  Riviera yoghurt comes in chubby glass pots which you can repurpose.  I have to say that it really is the best yoghurt I have ever tasted.  

Monsieur picked up the vanilla flavoured yoghurt.  The texture was so thick and creamy with a delicate vanilla taste.  I usually top my yoghurt with some granola or muesli and berries.  Also, I love the fact that they are made by a niche, artisanal Quebecois dairy.
And that is it for this week!  See you for the next Weekly Roundup.

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Monday, 7 August 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Mid Summer Haul at J Crew

Even though I am a fan of the capsule wardrobe, the downside to having one is that items that are on constant rotation get worn out very quickly.  Summer basics like white t-shirts acquire mysterious stains and fabric begins to pill.  Two of my blouses became so worn that holes appeared in spots that were nowhere near a seam line thus rendering them unrepairable.  So, even though it appears as if I am breaking the basic tenets of having a capsule wardrobe whereby you take a step back from acquiring new additions for your wardrobe, with now only a couple of tops to see me through the rest of a hot, humid summer, a dash to the shops was in order.
via jcrew.com
Luckily the summer sales are in full swing.  I picked up a smocked cotton top from J Crew.  I was told that it could be worn either on the shoulder or off.  The blouse does have a habit of constantly sliding off my shoulders so it isn't very easy to wear it on the shoulders.  The loose, flowy fit keeps me feeling cool and aerated but, a word of warning if you are considering this top, depending on what you wear on the bottom, you run the risk of looking preggers.  It isn't called a "Smock" for nothing.  I pair it with tight fitting jeans to compensate for the top's fullness.
A flash of green drew me to the cardigans.  If you are a long time reader of this blog, then you'll know that I love me a good cardigan and the colour green.

via jcrew.com

Cardigans make such a great layering piece.  J Crew has already brought in their new colour lineup which includes a green called "Juniper" for fall but their summer lineup is on sale which included a green called "Warm Jade" which was an ever so slightly more intense green than Juniper (pictured above).  So even though, I was on the lookout for a second top, the cardigan came home with me instead.  Never mind as the cardigan will transition well into Autumn.
Do you have a capsule wardrobe?  If you want me to chat more about a capsule wardrobe, please let me know in the comments.

This is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

LBH July Monthly Favourites: Blue Ice Snowball Microphone, Sony Headphones, Stila, Sephora

Time for another Monthly Favourites!  It's a bit of an eclectic mix this time but that's the fun of Monthly Favourites, wouldn't you agree?

I picked up a new microphone this month.  I had a headset that had an attached microphone which was falling apart.  There was a lot of looping back which was irritating and confusing.  I thought that a completely separate microphone would eliminate that issue and settled on the iCE Snowball by Blue.  It is Skype certified.  So far, I am really happy with it.  It is so easy to use.  Just plug it into your computer and away you go!  The headphones that you see are a pair by Sony that I gave to Monsieur a while ago so I am not sure if this particular model is still available but you can find similar ones here.  I am "borrowing" them back from him, much to his chagrin.  They are noise cancelling and come with an adaptor so that you can use them on an airline.  Because they are suitable for travel, they fold down compactly.  I am not sure if Monsieur is getting them back any time soon because I am in love with them.  They are so comfortable and the noise cancelling feature really does work.  When I put them on, it is like my ears are inside a vacuum.  It means I can concentrate on hearing the other person's voice (or whatever I am listening to).
On a different note, I had to pick up more blotting papers.  Sephora discontinued the blotting papers that came in a mirrored compact so I got their latest version which comes in a cardboard envelope.  Blotting papers are a must during the hot summer months.  I am not a fan of piling on the face powder as it just feels icky by the end of the day.  I find that blotting papers do a fantastic job of soaking up excess oil and sweat and taking down the shine without having to add on more face product.
A late addition to my Monthly Favourites is a little treat for myself from Stila.

When I heard that Stila was now cruelty free, I was so excited!  I rushed out right away and got the Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Lionfish which is a wonderful metallic bronze. There aren't that many quality high end brands that are both cruelty free and widely available (the line is carried by both Sephora and Shoppers) so this was fantastic news.  I am really looking forward to exploring Stila's other products and am already eyeing their convertible blush and eyeshadow palettes.  Have you tried anything by Stila?  Any suggestions?

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Monday, 24 July 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Zero Waste Grocery Shopping at the Bulk Barn

Quite by accident, I found out that Bulk Barn, which is a national chain of stores selling bulk food, was now allowing customers to bring their own containers.  This is a boon to anyone interested in reducing their waste and the amount of packaging coming in to their home.  Your containers must be in clean condition and plastic and paper bags are not allowed.  You have the containers tared (or weighed) first before filling them so that the cashier is able to subtract the weight of the container from the total weight when you cash out.  I have always found it interesting when I hear of the difficulty of people in other countries in finding stores that sell bulk groceries as Bulk Barn has been around in Canada for many years.  The great thing about Bulk Barn is the vast selection.  There are lots of unusual things like Xylitol powder and hemp seeds on offer.  There are even liquid foods like various pie fillings and honey.  If you aren't in Canada, do you have a grocery store that is similar to Bulk Barn?  Any way, my first trip to Bulk Barn was more of a test.  I bought a handful of pretzels, 0.80 kg @ $5.28 per kg which came to 42 cents (before taxes).  I chose pretzels because packaged snack foods tend to be the Achilles heel for a lot of people trying to reduce their waste.  The process was so straightforward.  No arguing with the cashier about why you wanted to use your own container and trying to explain the concept of zero waste.  My second trip was a bit of a failure as this time I bought 2 handfuls of pretzels, as well as flour.  The pretzels came to over $3.00.  I couldn't figure out the disparity until, after much staring at the two receipts, I realized that the cashier forgot to subtract the weight of the container at the second visit as the receipt didn't show the net and gross weight the way the first receipt did.  So I think the cashiers are still getting familiar with the new system and you have to check your receipt.  I used my vintage French mason jars but you can find similar ones here.  
via Amazon

The great thing about this French brand is that you can get tall ones for storing pasta like spaghetti or linguine and get replacement gaskets as well.

via Amazon

After reflecting over my experience, I have concluded that it is a process that needs to be gradually assimilated into your lifestyle if you want to sustain the practice over the long haul.  At the moment, I am the only one in my household with any interest in it so I don't think I will ever go completely zero waste. Personally, I like to say "reducing waste" rather than "zero waste" as it makes it less intimidating. Because the process means taking your own containers to the store, the trip needs to be planned out beforehand.  I can't expect Monsieur to assist as he has mobility issues so it would be very difficult for him to haul containers to the store.  At one point, we considered getting our groceries delivered when our combined health made ordinary chores like grocery shopping extremely arduous and delivery would, obviously, preclude shopping at the Bulk Barn.  
To be honest, when I first heard about zero waste, I was simultaneously intrigued and repelled.  As with any movement, extremists tend to be attracted to it.  I felt like it wasn't for me and my household.  I mean, I am not going to get into an argument with the pharmacist about why life saving medications are being dispensed in a plastic jar!  If you go on the Bulk Barn website, you will see that they've partnered up with a fairly well known French-American zero waste proponent that I once followed.  When I saw that, I had a bit of a giggle because I remember when she ran a crowdfunding campaign and then immediately after the campaign ended she disabled comments on her blog and began running ads on her website for some time  for...disposable one-use cleaning products.  So, I stopped following her when I realized this zero waste guru had clay feet.  My personal belief is that balance is the key and finding what works for my home and the people in it.   Right now, any reduction in household waste is a good thing and I do have to give tremendous props to Bulk Barn for instituting this new policy.  Do you have any interest in bulk grocery shopping?  What are your experiences with the zero waste lifestyle?

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

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